U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) released the following statement after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report on regulatory efforts to combat black lung disease:
For years, Republican and Democrat administrations tried unsuccessfully to strengthen protections against black lung disease. The views and proposals of key stakeholders were ignored, opposition grew, and as a result, progress was stymied. It appears we may now be repeating the mistakes of the past.
Both industry and labor have raised concerns with the regulatory initiative currently before the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Once again a flawed process has produced a flawed rule that could further delay stronger protections for America's miners.
A responsible, comprehensive solution can be advanced if all stakeholders come to the table and work together. It is up to Assistant Secretary Main to help make that happen. The assistant secretary has the power to address this problem and he must now demonstrate the will to do so. It is time for leadership that will forge common ground and help bring an end to the risk of this deadly disease.